Perth CBD must double number of residents: Lino Iacomella

Perth CBD must double number of residents: Lino Iacomella
Perth CBD must double number of residents: Lino Iacomella


The residential population of the City of Perth needs to double if the Perth CBD is to reduce current record levels of commercial office vacancy, and provide workers in the CBD which are the mainstay of the CBD retail sector and eateries.

Of the 200,000 people that work in Perth CBD, less than 20,000 live within the boundaries of the City of Perth.

The exodus of people leaving the CBD at the end of each working day, creates traffic chaos on the freeways and leaves the CBD lacking the night time economy that makes other major cities.

 The City of Perth currently has plans to promote Perth CBD as a vibrant residential area, but much more is needed to be done.

The recent new stock of apartments and medium to high-density housing is limited to opposite ends of the CBD and there has not been enough new supply to make Perth’s residential population anywhere near its target.

We need more, better quality and affordable housing options spread around the Perth CBD to create new precincts that attract people and new businesses into the CBD.

WA Labor’s plans for a second high school in the CBD will require well designed and affordable housing options for families as well as those looking for inner city living.

However, if Perth is going to compete with the suburbs and provide an appropriate mix of housing options in the CBD, the WA Labor government must prioritise key reforms including:

  • Introduce stamp duty concessions for off-the-plan apartments similar to a traditional house and land package;
  • Fast track the Strata Title reforms to enable community titles and improve strata management;
  • Full private certification of building permits;
  • Legislate to allow local authorities like the City of Perth to bring building owners, tenants and financiers together to agree to loan terms to enable finance arrangements to upgrade old and vacant CBD buildings.

These reforms are now urgent if we are to create the right commercial, retail and residential offerings to encourage people to move into the CBD.


Lino Iacomella is a WA Executive Director at Property Council of Australia and can be contacted here.

Perth CBD

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?